Allete reported first quarter 2021 earnings of 99 cents per share on net income of $51.8 million. Last year’s results were $1.28 per share on net income of $66.3 million.
The timing of income taxes and operating and maintenance expense in 2021 negatively impacted the quarter compared to internal expectations by approximately 15 cents per share, which are expected to reverse during the remainder of the year.
In addition, net income in 2021 included an approximately $5 million, or 10 cents per share, negative impact related to Allete Clean Energy’s Diamond Spring wind energy facility due to an extreme winter storm event in the southern United States in February 2021.
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Minnesota Power’s plans for a $40 million investment in solar energy received unanimous approval from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.
In June 2020, Minnesota Power announced plans to build three solar projects in June 2020 after the MPUC asked utilities to evaluate projects they could speed up as a way to support the recovery of local economies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The company plans to construct approximately 20 megawatts of solar arrays in northern Minnesota that also will help it meet the state of Minnesota’s Solar Energy Standard.
In addition, the investment advances Minnesota Power’s EnergyForward strategy and its vision for delivering carbon-free energy by 2050. The projects:
. A 9.6-megawatt array at Minnesota Power’s Laskin Energy Center, adjacent to the Laskin Energy Park in Hoyt Lakes
. A 10-megawatt array near the company’s Sylvan Hydro Station near Brainerd
. A 1.6-megawatt array on a proposed site on Riley Road in Duluth
Minnesota Power estimates the projects will:
. Create 38 local construction jobs
. Provide enough energy to power 4,000 homes
. Add $10 million to the 2021 gross regional product
. Increase annual local government revenues by about $55,000 via direct tax payments and an additional $110,000 indirectly
The projects will use solar panels manufactured in Mountain Iron by Heliene Inc. and leverage existing electrical infrastructure. Construction will get underway this summer with the arrays expected to be generating electricity in 2022. Minnesota Power’s solar energy plan enjoyed support from a number of organizations.
In a letter to the MPUC, the Laborers International Union of North America Minnesota & North Dakota said, “Minnesota Power’s investment will not only lead to direct construction job creation, but it will help to position Minnesota as a leader in the rapidly growing clean energy economy. MP’s commitment to buy regionally produced solar panels will create good paying manufacturing jobs and help to grow Minnesota’s clean energy manufacturing economy. Additionally, Minnesota Power’s continued decarbonization of their energy portfolio can provide taconite producers a competitive advantage in global markets as demand for low carbon materials grows.”